Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bill de Blasio Will Push for Tax on Wealthy to Fix Subway | Lefsetz Letter

Bill de Blasio Will Push for Tax on Wealthy to Fix Subway

But they don’t ride the subway!

I have a morning ritual. I wake up, unplug my phone, go to the bathroom, sit on the throne and check my e-mail, my Twitter feed and then the news, in that order.

I’ve grossed you out.

Well, then maybe you shouldn’t read Tom Perrotta’s new book, “Mrs. Fletcher,” wherein the title character gets addicted to MILF porn. That was supposed to be the title of the book, “MILF,” but the publisher thought the public couldn’t handle it. That’s the contradiction of the left, it keeps playing to mores that are facades, whereas real people sleep with their phone under their pillow, or right by the nightstand, and I don’t even do that!

Now the “New York Times” app, which was just updated and sucks, the way the “Wall Street Journal” app used to, before they finally fixed it, after years, has got a curious new feature, they keep repeating old stories. You know, from days before, weeks before, MONTHS before. Which means they’re afraid their readers have missed good content. And if the NEWSpaper has trouble getting through to the public, imagine the problems for everybody else. That’s how hard it is to break through the clutter today.

So I’m scanning down the list of stories, seeing if the world has blown up, almost disappointed that it hasn’t, the headlines are the same they were the night before, when I get to the article linked above.

And it does not compute. The rich and the right, sometimes the same thing, have done an excellent job of insisting they are job creators who earned their salaries. And here we have a rabbit hole so narrow and deep that the left cannot see it. You’ve got to go for hearts and minds. The left is like classic rockers bitching about Spotify, whereas the right had a long term plan to convince the public otherwise. Coal is good. Climate scientists are unsure about global warming. White people are getting a raw deal. The truth almost doesn’t matter. Hell, we’ve got a President who’s a pack of lies.

But when they tried to take away people’s health care to give more money to the rich, somehow the little people, the public, you and me, understood.

Is this a turning point?

Now de Blasio needs Albany’s agreement, so this tax will probably never happen. But by floating it, he’s pitting the have-nots against the haves. 32,000 taxpayers would pay the half point increase, while 800,000 people at or below the poverty line would qualify for half-price MetroCards

That’s right, the second prong of the proposal, after fixing the subway itself, is to subsidize the poor people who ride it.

Now I’m not talking about the everyday rider, without a car, but the POOR people. As for the everyday riders, that number has doubled since 1990 and is rising again, without a concomitant investment in the subway itself, working families and millennials without cars depend upon the service. While the wealthy never go below ground.

I’m not saying that the country is taking a rapid turn to the left. Hell, some will argue that the country already is left, agreeing with Democrats on most points on the issues, but voting for Republicans anyway. But the truth is, the rank and file American believes they’ve gotten a raw deal. While the rich say to buckle down and work to get ahead like they do, most of America can’t find the door. And can’t afford not only a BMW, but a college education. Go to school and be crippled by debt while the scions of the rich never owe a dollar.

And the truth has been out there for decades, but the public is finally wising up.

de Blasio is floating this proposal because he wants to win. There aren’t enough rich people to keep him in office. Could this be a harbinger of things to come?

Ever since the nineties, it’s been a badge of honor to flaunt your wealth. MTV might have fostered integration and gay marriage but even more it demonstrated the wealthy lifestyle, in “reality” shows and music videos. And people need hope, they need to believe they too can be rich, but I don’t believe that anymore. Having a hit in Silicon Valley is even harder than having a smash on the hit parade. As for finance, a group of people who create nothing, that’s a track far in my past, you need connections or a great education to get that gig, and the door closes on that career path in your twenties.

As for musicians, the dirty little secret is they’re not that rich. They’re not influencing elections. And they’re afraid to take a stand, because they don’t want to alienate a potential customer, they need that income.

Meanwhile, corporations, which these same musicians depend upon for sponsorship, and rich donors influence the game. It’d be like George Soros or the Koch Brothers determining what went to number one.

So are musicians out of touch?

I’d certainly say so.

But, as we go forward, will new acts stop flaunting their wealth, speak to the condition, the plight of their audience, and give back to these same people?

I doubt it, they couldn’t even write a protest song.

But just maybe. Just maybe they’ll tap into this dissatisfaction that is rampant, that is in the air.

And just imagine the tunes that might result. Instead of bragging, constant truth.

Could happen. Remember the folk music revival of the early sixties? It was wiped off the map by the Beatles and the British Invasion, but people continued to sing Peter, Paul & Mary songs and Dylan continued to triumph…

Interesting times.

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